Q&A Monday: What books do you recommend for a college grad?

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I know first hand that when you are in the middle of a quarter life crisis things can seem kind of overwhelming. Between your parents hounding you over what you plan on doing with the rest of your life and your student loans kicking in it can be difficult to see clearly. You feel tossed about with no real direction or purpose. You’re overwhelmed by options while simultaneously very fearful of the future.

The good news is this doesn’t last forever. Eventually life figures itself out and so do you. Now, if you don’t want to wait until eventually there are some things you can do to jumpstart your QLC recovery.
There are a few books I’ve read in the past couple of years that have helped me with all things post-grad – from happiness to finances.

The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler 

I rave about this book all the time. In fact, I recommend it to anyone at any stage of their lives.

If you want to start changing your life you’ve got to start with the basics. Money, a sweet job or a romantic relationship isn’t necessarily going to make you happy – in fact, true happiness comes from the inside. It’s all about perception and this book explores training the human outlook that alters it through a series of interview questions with The Dalai Lama.

Spirit Junkie by Gabrielle Bernstein

This book also explores the idea of how your inward state affects your outward experience. It’s a great way to get into the discussion without being too heady. I’ve recommended it to quite a few friends and coaching clients and all have yielded some pretty great results.

The best thing about Gabrielle Bernstein is that she’s constantly sharing free content whether it’s on YouTube, Twitter or her website. She is all about giving people the tools to start living a life beyond their wildest dreams, and believe it or not even the simplest of tools makes a huge difference.

You can read a full length review I wrote about this book here. I also highly recommend checking out her Authors@Google talk.

The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau

If you haven’t heard of Chris Guillebeau by now then you are obviously living under a rock. He’s got a small army standing behind his cause as he teaches the world it’s totally okay to think a little differently. This is the book that lit a fire under my ass back in 2010 when I had just graduated from college. It’s because of him I started taking freelancing seriously, stopped feeling sorry for myself and go off my ass and started taking control of my own life.

This guy inspired me so much I even went to one of his book signings a couple of months back. He’s just as cool and down-to-earth in person as he seems on the his killer blog.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Most personal finance books are like trying to put your head through a brick wall. Not this one. Ramit Sethi’s book is written for us – the young, tech savvy, out of the box youngin’s who don’t know a damn thing about personal finance, don’t want to give up the things we love and aren’t afraid of the internet.

Thanks to this book I opened up a retirement account, started investing each month and still get to save for sweet stuff like a trip to Paris next year. It’s seriously a must-read personal finance book for anyone in their 20s.

Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want by Jenny Blake

This is THE book for any college grad or 20-something looking for direction. Jenny Blake has taken the highlights of the best personal development books out there to create a portable life coach for all your needs. It’s split up into different categories – from money to relationships – so you can find exactly what you need when you need it.

Check out the video below for more details. I made this over a year ago when Jenny so graciously sent me an advanced copy.

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These are just a few of the books that got me through my QLC. For a full list of resources that will help you kick ass in your post-grad life click here.

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3 Responses to Q&A Monday: What books do you recommend for a college grad?

  1. Charles July 31, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    Great recommendations Amanda. I want to check out The Art of Happiness. Some books that have influential in my life following graduation are 48 Days to the Work You Love, The Four Hour Work Week, and Delivering Happiness.

    • Amanda Abella August 1, 2012 at 9:10 am #

      Oh The Four Hour Work Week is a good one. Definitely recommend it!


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